Peter J., Part 2

It was 1993, maybe ’94, when I found the first records of my Brinkman ancestors. My daughter attended BYU tennis camp that summer, so I spent four days at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. It was my first trip there, and I wasn’t disappointed.

I spent hours, days even, poring over microfilm, combing through census and vital records, searching bookshelves. The dead ends were definitely frustrating, but every new bit of information I found quickly refueled my enthusiasm to keep on searching. The genealogy bug had bit me big time.

I returned from that trip loaded with documents and new information, eager to share it all with my father. Among the items were his grandfather Kobus Brinkman’s naturalization document, pages from a volume of Germans to America showing Kobus Brinkman as a passenger from Bremen with his siblings and his father arriving in New York in 1873, and an entry for Kobus Brinkman in a Sibley, Iowa death register. I was so excited to have found such treasures, but wasn’t sure whether Dad would share my enthusiasm. As it turned out, he was moderately interested, more than I expected. As I recall, these records caused him to open up a little bit. If only I had written down what he told me that day, but alas…

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